Reduce Anxiety and Stress
Lower Blood Pressure
Research published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience reveals the science behind a key health benefit of lavender: its ability to help you relax. Researchers at Kagoshima University in Kagoshima, Japan looked at linalool, a terpene alcohol in lavender extract, specifically to unlock its anxiety-reducing properties. Rates of anxiety disorders in Japan (estimated at 5.3 percent of Japanese adults) and the United States (18.2 percent of adults) point to a compelling reason for further study into effective therapies and tools to treat such disorders. While researchers note that aromatic compounds derived from plant extracts have been used to treat anxiety in traditional medicine, and lavender, as an example, has been used in anxiety treatment, plus the fact that compounds such as linalool extracted from lavender have anxiety-reducing effects, no studies yet looked at the effects of the smell of lavender to reduce anxiety. What the researchers found in their studies with adult male mice is that the calming ability of lavender occurs through smelling vaporized lavender compound from linalool, not absorbing it in the lungs. Linalool creates calming effects by activating GABAA receptors via olfactory neurons in the nose, unlike benzodiazepines that are currently used in treating anxiety. The researchers said linalool odor may have clinical applications in treating anxiety in the human population. They further suggested that linalool odor-induced anxiolytic effects may be effective for preoperative patients to reduce stress and help better transition them to general anesthesia. Another potential benefit for linalool odor utilization may be with infants and those who have difficulty with other forms of anxiolytic administration (such as oral route, or suppositories).
Because lavender oil has antiseptic, antibacterial and circulatory stimulating properties, it is the ideal essential oil for treating minor burns to the skin. Scarring and infection are a direct result of bacteria and germs, so using lavender oil for burns will help prevent this and ensure a speedy recovery.The main benefit of using lavender oil to treat burns to the skin is it is all natural. There are many 'burn creams' on the market, but most of them will contain harmful chemicals. If you care about your health and wellbeing then essential oils like lavender are a great alternative home remedy to treat burns on the skin. Back in the early 1900's a man called Rene Gattefosse was researching essential oils and one day suffered a large burn to his arm whilst working in his lab. To cool his burn he immersed his arm into a large vat of lavender essential oil, noting that his arm healed very quickly and without infection or scarring.
In a study conducted on 40 patients who had just undergone open-heart surgery, lavender was successfully used to lower blood pressure. The patients were given a 2% dilution of essential oil placed in a cotton swab, and after breathing it in for 10 minutes, they experienced not only a drop in blood pressure, but also in heart rate (Salamati, Mashouf, & Mojab, 2017). A reduction in heart rate is significant as it indicates that lavender has a positive effect on reducing how fast and hard the heart works to pumps blood through our bodies, which invariably supports blood pressure reduction. Another study conducted on 83 people suffering from HBP saw that those participants who inhaled a mixture of lavender, ylang ylang Cananga odorata, marjoram Origanum marjorana, and neroli Citrus aurantium, experienced a significant decrease in blood pressure (Kim, Kim, Seong, Hur, Lim, & Lee, 2012). This study included a mixture of essential oils and led me to look more closely look at one of them in particular, namely Ylang Ylang.
Several studies examined the effects of aromatherapy with lavender in combatting insomnia, a sleep disorder affecting millions of people worldwide. A study published in the American Journal of Critical Care found that hospitalized patients inhaling 100 percent lavender oil (available bedside nightly) had improved vital signs and better sleep quality than control group (not receiving lavender oil aromatherapy). Researchers concluded that using lavender oil may be an effective sleep intervention in the intermediate care unit. Earlier research published in the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research highlighted the beneficial effects of lavender oil aromatherapy with respect to sleep quality in ischemic heart disease patients. The clinical trial included three nights of 9-hours lavender oil aromatherapy for the experimental group, compared with no therapy for control groups. Researchers concluded that lavender oil aromatherapy can improve sleep quality and health in patients hospitalized with ischemic heart disease. Another study whose results were published in Evidenced-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that lavender oil aromatherapy reduced stress and improved sleep quality of patients in the hospital intensive care unit after only two days of using the treatment. Aromatherapy is safe, noninvasive treatment that directly affects the brain, does not accumulate in the body (it is discharged through the respiratory system, liver and kidneys), and can be self-administered regardless of location or time.